David Larsen

Ph.D., MPH
Department Chair

David Larsen holds a Ph.D. and MPH from Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical medicine. He is an environmental epidemiologist with expertise in large data analysis, multi-level modeling, spatial statistics, geographic information systems, and study design. His content expertise lies broadly in global health, with specific expertise in mosquito borne illnesses, mhealth, and sanitation. See more of David’s profile.


Ph.D. School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine, Tulane University, LA

MPH School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine, Tulane University, LA

B.S. Psychology, Brigham Young University, UT


Global health, Child survival, Infectious disease epidemiology and malaria

Research Focus

Professor Larsen’s research is focused in these areas:

  1. Control and epidemiology of mosquito-borne illnesses
  2. Use of spatial methods to describe factors affecting health
  3. Global health

Research Projects

Global Health Research Lab

The global health research lab is an opportunity for students to learn data analysis skills while examining factors affecting maternal and child health in lower income countries. Examples of projects undertaken by students include an assessment of spray coverage achieved by malaria control programs, how sanitation access affects maternal and child health, and how conflict affects health access.

Control Zika and Dengue-transmitting Mosquitos

Zika virus is one of the many diseases transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito; others include dengue, yellow fever and chikungunya. Without effective interventions to control the mosquito these diseases are endemic in areas with Ae. aegypti habitat. We have developed novel control devices for the Ae. aegypti and are testing the impact that they have on the mosquito population in Ecuador. Professor David Larsen is the primary investigator.

Eliminate Malaria

Malaria control consists of killing mosquitos and providing medicine to treat or prevent parasite infections. We are aiming to accelerate toward malaria eradication by better understanding intervention delivery and impact. Our malaria research projects consist of improving the delivery of indoor residual spray by using real-time mapping and targeting based upon risk maps of mosquito habitat; understanding the interplay between food security, malaria control with insecticide treated mosquito nets, and fishing; and developing novel case investigation strategies to interrupt malaria transmission in areas pursuing elimination. Professor David Larsen is the primary investigator.

End Open Defecation

Approximately one billion people throughout the world have no access to toilets or latrines. Without access to sanitation facilities, open defecation facilitates transmission of fecal-oral pathogens such as diarrheal disease and intestinal parasites. These pathogens kill more than 1.5 million children worldwide annually, and cause developmental and cognitive delays in children who survive. This research projects highlights the impact of open defecation on maternal and child health and the impact that various interventions have on sanitation access. Professor David Larsen is the primary investigator.

Understanding the Impact of Community Violence from Public Health Perspectives

While violent crime has decreased in many cities in America, gang-related violence remains a serious problem in impoverished inner city neighborhoods. Our research encompasses several ongoing projects that examine the impact of violence, the effectiveness of a trauma response intervention, the association between community violence and academic performance and the effects of unaddressed trauma on development of addictions – namely “street addiction.” This project includes collaboration with Professor Sandra Lane, Professor Dessa Bergen-Cico , Professor David Larsen, Professor Linda Stone Fish, and Professor Robert Rubinstein. Falk faculty have partnered with Timothy (Noble) Jennings-Bey, CEO of Street Addiction Institute, Inc. to conduct this research.

Statistical Expertise

Large data analysis, multi-level modeling, spatial statistics, geographic information systems, and study design

Recent Publications

  • Hill, D. T., Petroni, M., Larsen, D. A., Bendinskas, K., Heffernan, K., Atallah-Yunes, N., ... & Gump, B. B. (2021). Linking metal (Pb, Hg, Cd) industrial air pollution risk to blood metal levels and cardiovascular functioning and structure among children in Syracuse, NY. Environmental Research, 193, 110557.
  • Larsen, D. A., Makaure, J., Ryan, S. J., Stewart, D., Traub, A., Welsh, R., ... & Bisesi Jr, J. H. (2021). Implications of Insecticide-Treated Mosquito Net Fishing in Lower Income Countries. Environmental Health Perspectives, 129(1), 015001.
  • Ryan, S. J., Martin, A. C., Walia, B., Winters, A., & Larsen, D. A. (2020). Comparing prioritization strategies for delivering indoor residual spray (IRS) implementation, using a network approach. Malaria journal, 19(1), 1-9.
  • Bridges, D. J., Chishimba, S., Mwenda, M., Winters, A. M., Slawsky, E., Mambwe, B., ... & Larsen, D. A. (2020). The use of spatial and genetic tools to assess Plasmodium falciparum transmission in Lusaka, Zambia between 2011 and 2015. Malaria journal, 19(1), 1-12.
  • Sippy, R., Rivera, G. E., Sanchez, V., Heras, F., Morejón, B., Beltrán, E., ... & Neira, M. (2020). Ingested insecticide to control Aedes aegypti: developing a novel dried attractive toxic sugar bait device for intra-domiciliary control. Parasites & vectors, 13(1), 1-11.
  • Larsen, D., Kmush, B., Asiago-Reddy, E., Dinero, R. E., Church, R. L., Khan, S., ... & Narine, L. (2020). An analysis of policy decisions to combat SARS-CoV-2 transmission: comparing the available evidence and policies of public face masking to social distancing (No. gnk5a). Center for Open Science.
  • Larsen, D. A., & Wigginton, K. R. (2020). Tracking COVID-19 with wastewater. Nature Biotechnology, 38(10), 1151-1153.
  • Albanese, K. M., Deshmane, P., Patil, N., Larsen, D. A., & Ordway, N. R. (2020). Dual-Mobility Articulations in Femoral Neck Fractures: A Systematic Review of the Literature and Meta-analysis of the Outcomes. The Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
  • Purdy, A. F., Sifuna, P., Otieno, L., Omolo, K. O., Larsen, D. A., & Shaw, A. V. (2020). Examination of Mortality Due to Diabetes and Assessment of Diabetes-Related Healthcare Services in Rural Western Kenya.
  • Larsen, D. A. (2020). Exposure to Pyrethroids and Health Risk. JAMA Internal Medicine, 180(7), 1027-1028.
  • Larsen, D. A., Martin, A., Pollard, D., Nielsen, C. F., Hamainza, B., Burns, M., ... & Winters, A. (2020). Leveraging risk maps of malaria vector abundance to guide control efforts reduces malaria incidence in Eastern Province, Zambia. Scientific reports, 10(1), 1-12.
  • Salmon, K., Shin, D., Kmush, B., Wallia, B., Bellows, A., & Larsen, D. (2020). Evidence of Declining Dietary Diversity Among Children Aged 1–5 Years Between 2005 and 2017 in Lower-Income Countries. Current Developments in Nutrition, 4(Supplement_2), 561-561.
  • Larsen, D., Dinero, R., Asiago-Reddy, E., Green, H., Lane, S., Shaw, A., ... & Kmush, B. (2020). A review of infectious disease surveillance to inform public health action against the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.
  • Larsen, D. (2020). Homemade cloth face masks to fight the COVID19 pandemic; a call for mass public masking with homemade cloth masks (No. grbzj). Center for Open Science.
  • Larsen, D. A., & Church, R. L. (2020). Pyrethroid Resistance in Anopheles gambiae Not Associated with Insecticide-Treated Mosquito Net Effectiveness Across Sub-Saharan Africa. Anopheles gambiae.
  • Wang, S., Green, H. C., Wilder, M. L., Du, Q., Kmush, B. L., Collins, M. B., ... & Zeng, T. (2020). High-throughput wastewater analysis for substance use assessment in central New York during the COVID-19 pandemic. Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts, 22(11), 2147-2161.
  • Kilaru, P., Larsen, D., & Monk, D. (2020, September 2). Design and utilization of homemade wastewater samplers during the COVID-19 pandemic. engrXiv, Web.
  • Green, H., Wilder, M., Middleton, F. A., Collins, M., Fenty, A., Gentile, K., ... & Larsen, D. A. (2020). Quantification of SARS-CoV-2 and cross-assembly phage (crAssphage) from wastewater to monitor coronavirus transmission within communities. MedRxiv.
  • Ryan, S. J., Martin, A. C., Walia, B., Winters, A., & Larsen, D. A. (2020). Modeling consensus and distance to delivering indoor residual spray (IRS) implementation strategies to control malaria transmission. bioRxiv.
  • Walia, B., Kmush, B., Lane, S. D., Endy, T., Montresor, A., & Larsen, D. A. (2020). Routine deworming during antenatal care decreases risk of neonatal mortality and low birthweight: a retrospective cohort of survey data. medRxiv.